Asura is a hack and slash that puts you in the role of a dangerous demon fighting an evil maharaja. Inspired by Indian myths and full of intense combat, it’s this week’s Indie Pick.

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I’m a big fan of rougue-lites and classic dungeon crawling.  I picked up Brutal last year and still take time for the occasional bit of questing. Asura scratches the same itch. Our editor in chief, Stephen Totilo, looked at it at E3 2016, enjoying the game while literally sitting on the show floor. It has snappy combat, fun magical spells, and constantly reshuffles level design to offer new configurations to explore each time you load it up.

One of the things I like the most about Asura is how it takes mythology and uses it to inspire these gameplay systems. It’s not just lore. And the designers at Ogre Head Studios took their story and integrated it nicely into the mechanics.

“When a demon dies he does not stay dead,” designer Zainuddin Fahad told Kotaku. “Instead he reincarnates. With a new skill tree in this case.”

Fahad and his co-workers come from an initial background in mobile game design, which quickly took off in India. They found themselves working on project they lacked passion for. Inspired by games like Diablo and Age of Empires, they set off to create their own games. The result was Asura.

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“Our [goal] was to bring a much needed change in the Indian games industry,” Fahad said. “We have rich culture and heritage which are personal to us. We wanted to fuse this with game design and mechanics.”

Asura might not revolutionize the hack and slash genre but it’s definitely held my attention. There’s always allure to finding a new treasure chest or slaying a difficult boss. It’s crafted with care. In this day and age, with bloated storefronts and rushed games, that makes all the difference in the world.

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You can play Asura on PC, Mac, and Linux.


Each week, I show off a new, affordable indie game using the tag “Heather’s Indie Pick.”

If you’ve found a cool game or made something you’re proud of, reach out to me at heather.alexandra@kotaku.com or on Twitter @transgamerthink.